My career and my calling are two separate things. I think for Pastors, it’s easy to get the two confused.
Things can be done that can affect my career. People’s misunderstanding can affect my career. People’s judgments can affect my career… these things cannot affect my calling.
In fact, I have even begun to wonder lately if there are things that I could do according to my calling that could negatively affect my career.
Don’t worry, I’m not talking drastic here (well, I guess that depends what your stance on some things is)… In this instance, for the easy clean example, I’m talking a tattoo.
I want a tattoo. It’s not even really that I think tattoos are cool. I’ve seen some pretty badly done NOT-COOL tattoos that people have been stuck with… Oh goodness, this will be so much easier to explain if I just get right into it.
I want a tattoo of a dove bandaging a broken heart on my wrist/forearm.
I don’t think that tattoos are wrong, so it’s not the getting a tattoo bit that I would waiver on at all… It’s the location bit that is iffy… But for my tattoo, the location is non-negotiable.
You see, my design is inspired by the verse that says “He shall bind up the broken-hearted.” I believe that God wants to heal the people in the world that are hurting… The ones in deep emotional pain.
There are so many people – kids/teens especially – that have literally begun to carry their emotional pain on their arms. I believe that God loves them immensely, that He wants to help them, that he wants Christians, as his ambassadors, to SHOW the love he has for these people, to help them heal their pain. But, it’s easy for us to be crappy ambassadors. We can so easily overlook the broken-hearted, because it’s so easy for them to hide their pain, and we are too lazy to look for it.
I want to put a permanent reminder on my wrist to myself, that ministering to the broken-hearted is part of my call, and I want to wear, not just my heart, but God’s heart, on my sleeve…
And, as so many people have scars on their arms as permanent testaments to pain… I want a permanent testament to love on mine. TWLOHA people!
The difficulty is, while I think that getting such a tattoo would be a good daily inspiration for me, a good conversation starter to raise awareness in all and arouse curiosity in the hurting… And in all ways I can think of, not affect my calling in any way, just remind me to pursue it daily…
It would be in a visible place, and in many professions, including my chosen career, it could affect me negatively… Especially since Christians like to judge so much.
This post isn’t really about me getting a tattoo on my arm… I’m not going to do so unless I feel released by God to do so.
It’s just an example of a situation in which something wouldn’t affect my calling, might even help me fulfill it, but would hurt my “career”.
There were other circumstances that brought me to this conclusion, this was just the easiest example… But I have learned over the last year that while I felt completely out of place not being a pastor, and longed for it when I couldn’t have it…
The point of my life is not my career… The point of my life is my calling… Fulfilling what I was called to do, what God wants me do to…
I used to think those two things were synonymous… It’s mind boggling to think otherwise… But maybe they aren’t.
Maybe one day I’ll have to chose.